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White House Poet Taught Kids To Sit In Circles And Watch Porn For College Class

White House Poet Taught Kids to Sit in Circles and Watch Porn for College Class

Kenneth Goldsmith reads at the White House / Wikimedia Commons

Kenneth Goldsmith reads at the White House / Wikimedia Commons

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A University of Pennsylvania English course taught by a poet who performed for President Obama at the White House ended up exactly as the professor envisioned it: college kids watching porn.

“Wasting Time on the Internet,” a once-a-week creative writing course taught by Kenneth Goldsmith that required students to stare at a computer screen for three hours completed its first class this spring.

Goldsmith wrote last fall that students could use the three hours to watch porn, and then “use it as the basis for compelling erotica.”

“I’ve never taught this class before, but I have a hunch that it’s going to be a success,” he said.

At least one student agreed. Speaking to the College Fix, a female student who took the course described it as “one of the best classes I’ve ever taken.”

During the class students sat in a circle and pushed play on the same porno on multiple computers at the same time.

“It created a very uncomfortable environment for us—some of the class even got up part of the way through and left because they were uncomfortable,” the girl said.

It was “hard to really pinpoint… one thing that I learned,” about the course overall, she added.

The course cost approximately $3,202.

The goal of “Wasting Time on the Internet” was for students to surf the web and then write about it.

“What if these activities — clicking, SMSing, status-updating, and random surfing — were used as raw material for creating compelling and emotional works of literature?” the course description states. “Could we reconstruct our autobiography using only Facebook? Could we write a great novella by plundering our Twitter feed? Could we reframe the Internet as the greatest poem ever written?”

Goldsmith said “nothing was off limits” in an piece he wrote for the New Yorker’s “Page-Turner” blog before the class began.

Aside from porn, Goldsmith hoped that students would spend time on conservative media sites in order to be inspired for “hate-filled” material for a spy book.

“Students watching three hours of porn can use it as the basis for compelling erotica; they can troll nefarious right-wing sites, scraping hate-filled language for spy thrillers; they can render celebrity Twitter feeds into epic Dadaist poetry; they can recast Facebook feeds as novellas; or they can simply hand in their browser history at the end of a session and present it as a memoir,” he said. More

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